After Colonialism

African Postmodernism and Magical Realism

Gerald Gaylard



Africa's imagination has been dominated and informed by pressing social and political issues, and its fiction has reflected this in its commitment to social realism. However, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this tendency has been challenged by the rise to prominence of experimental fiction exhibiting postmodern and magical realist characteristics. After Colonialism: African Postmodernism and Magical Realism thoroughly examines this new fiction and its contribution to the liberation of Africa's imagination. It finds, perhaps ironically, that a liberated imagination provides a powerful tool for understanding, and perhaps even resolving, the complex issues of postcolonial Africa.


It is precisely in a broken age that we need mystery and a re-awakened sense of wonder: need them in order to be whole again. - Ben Okri


Gerald Gaylard is a senior lecturer in the English department at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.